THE STATE
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY
OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

TO: 
EMSCVESID Committee 
FROM: 
James A. Kadamus 
SUBJECT: 
Recommendations on Mathematics Graduation Requirements 
DATE: 
September 27, 2005 
STRATEGIC
GOAL: 
Goals 1 and 2 
AUTHORIZATION(S): 

Summary
Issue for Decision
Should the Regents accept Department staff’s recommendations on the
development of high school mathematics examinations and revisions to the
mathematics graduation requirements?
Reason for
Consideration
Review of policy.
Proposed Handling
This question will come before the EMSCVESID Committee on October 6,
2005 for action.
Procedural History
The Mathematics Standards Committee issued its first report to the Board of Regents in November 2004. The report recommended that the proposed learning standard for mathematics and its respective performance indicators be sent out to the field for public comment. Over 2,000 comments were received. The Committee reviewed all of the comments and revised the material where it was appropriate.
In January 2005, the Regents accepted two of the three recommendations presented by the CoChairs of the Mathematics Standards Committee, William Brosnan and Theresa McSweeney. The Regents approved the revised mathematics learning standard and the performance indicators for prekindergarten through grade 8. The Regents also approved the continuance of the Committee's work on the high school level performance indicators.
In
March 2005, the Regents adopted the high school performance indicators for
Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry, along with the alignment
modifications to prekindergarten through grade 8, as recommended by the
Mathematics Standards Committee. At
that meeting, the Regents also
agreed to consider the Committee’s remaining four high school recommendations at
a later date. Those
recommendations were:
1. A Regents
examination be developed and administered for each of the three courses
(Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry).
2. The mathematics
graduation requirement for a Regents Diploma be the passing of one Regents
examination in mathematics, and the passing of three units of credit of high
school mathematics. The Committee
also recommended that the credit granted for the Algebra course be limited to
two units.
3. The mathematics
graduation requirement for a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation be that
students take and pass the three courses of high school mathematics, and that
the first two cohorts pass two of the three Regents examinations in mathematics
and that subsequent cohorts pass all three Regents examinations in
mathematics.
4. Ways of rewarding
students for taking and mastering more than the graduation requirements be
explored and implemented.
In June 2005, the
Regents discussed the pros and
cons of test implementation timeline issues associated with recommendation #1
and considered staff responses to the remaining recommendations of the
Mathematics Standards Committee relating to graduation requirements. Attachment A provides greater detail on
the recommendations before the Regents for approval.
Recommendation
VOTED: That
the Board of Regents approve the development of a Regents examination for each
of the three approved mathematics courses (Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and
Trigonometry) and that the first administration of these examinations will begin
in 2009 (will affect students entering grade 6 in
200506).
VOTED: That
the mathematics graduation requirement for a Regents Diploma will be the passing
of one Regents examination in mathematics, and the passing of three units of
credit of high school mathematics.
Credit granted for the Algebra course will be limited to two
units.
VOTED: That
the mathematics graduation requirement for a Regents Diploma with Advanced
Designation will be the passing of three units of credit of high school
mathematics, and that students will also pass the Regents examinations in
Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.
VOTED: That
students who complete all coursework and testing requirements for the Regents
Diploma with Advanced Designation in mathematics and/or science and take and
pass three Regents examinations in each academic discipline with a score of 85
or better will earn a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation, with an
annotation on the diploma that denotes mastery in mathematics and/or
science.
Timetable for Implementation
Upon the Board’s approval of these policy directions, proposed amendments
to Commissioner’s Regulations will be developed for approval in late fall
2005.
Attachments
Attachment
A
Proposed Mathematics Graduation
Requirements
In March
2005, the Board of Regents adopted the high school performance indicators for
Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry, along with the alignment
modifications to prekindergarten through grade 8, as recommended by the
Mathematics Standards Committee. At
that meeting, the Regents also
agreed to consider the Committee’s remaining four high school recommendations at
a later date. The four remaining
recommendations are presented below along with SED staff
recommendations:
(1) The Mathematics
Standards Committee recommended that a Regents examination be developed and
administered for each of the three courses (Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and
Trigonometry).
SED Staff
Recommendation
We recommend
approval of the recommendation to develop and administer three mathematics
Regents examinations. However, the
design, development and implementation of multiple Regents examinations requires
an analysis of instructional issues, students’ opportunity to learn the
material, professional development of staff in school districts, and the
requirements of the Regents examination development process, including item
writing and field testing. We
recommend that the first new mathematics Regents examination be introduced in
June 2009 in Algebra, followed by Geometry in 2010, and Algebra 2 and
Trigonometry in 2011. Several
options were considered and the pros and cons for first administration in June
2008 and June 2009 are presented below:
June 2008 First Administration (Available for Students Entering Grade 6 in 20042005)
Pros
·
Keeps momentum
for new mathematics standard at high school level.
·
Completes
prekindergarten through grade 12 mathematics transition.
Cons
·
Would not
allow for sufficient instructional time under new standards prior to field
testing and first test administration; students would have had only one year of
instruction under the new standards.
To field test with students who had not had sufficient exposure to the
curriculum would skew the field testing data, affecting our ability to
accurately create score conversion charts for these tests.
·
Would not
allow schools/districts sufficient time for professional development for
mathematics staff.
·
Would not
allow sufficient time for the approved Regents test development process,
including item writing by New York State teachers knowledgeable about the new
standards and field testing with appropriate samples of students.
·
Would not
allow time to address SED’s current significant internal capacity needs, with a
total of 6 professional positions to be filled (3 replacements and 3 new) before
we will have the capacity to conduct the activities necessary over the next two
years to produce these new examinations while continuing to produce Mathematics
A and B.
June 2009 First Administration (Available for Students Entering Grade 6 in 20052006
Pros
·
Allows for
sufficient instructional time under new standards prior to field testing and
first test administration; students would have had two years of instruction
under the new standards. To field
test with students who had not had sufficient exposure to the curriculum would
skew the field testing data, affecting our ability to accurately create score
conversion charts for these tests.
·
Allows
schools/districts sufficient time for professional development for mathematics
staff.
·
Allows
sufficient time for the approved Regents test development process, including
item writing by New York State teachers knowledgeable about the new standard and
field testing with appropriate samples of students.
·
With this
implementation timeline, the Math A and Math B exams could be eliminated six
months after introduction of the new exams (see Attachment B).
·
SED currently
has significant internal capacity needs, with a total of 6 professional
positions to be filled (3 replacements and 3 new) before we will have the
capacity to conduct the activities necessary over the next two years to produce
these new examinations while continuing to produce Mathematics A and B.
Cons
·
Slower
implementation than originally envisioned by the Mathematics Standards
Committee.
·
Concern about
losing momentum in implementing the new mathematics standards at the high
school.
We believe that the advantages of a first administration in June 2009 outweigh the disadvantages of introducing examinations in June 2008. Attachment B outlines the recommended timeline for implementation of the new assessments in June 2009 and the phaseout of Mathematics A and B.
The concern has
been expressed that students who first entered grade 7 in 200506, and who
should be receiving instruction under the new mathematics standard, may be at a
disadvantage under this timeline. I
can assure the Board that we will, over the next three years, develop and
administer Mathematics A examinations that will in no way disadvantage a student
being instructed consistent with the new core curriculum.
(2) The Mathematics
Standards Committee recommends that the mathematics graduation requirement for a
Regents Diploma be the passing of one Regents examination in mathematics, and
the passing of three units of credit of high school mathematics. The Committee further
recommends that the credit granted for the Algebra course be limited to two
units.
SED Staff Recommendation
We recommend
approval of this recommendation. An
analysis of the algebra portion of the mathematics core curriculum reveals that,
due to the integrated nature of the new core curriculum, students will be
exposed to an algebra course that is more rigorous because it will expose
students to more advanced algebra than what is taught as part of the coursework
leading to the Math A test.
Some of the
integrated algebra content previously taught in high school, under the new
standard, will be taught in grades 7 and 8. For example, solving linear inequalities, which was
once taught in high school, will now be covered in grades 7 and 8. Likewise, operations with polynomials will move
from high school to grades 7 and 8.
In addition, factoring will now be covered in Grade
8.
Some content
previously covered in the coursework leading to the Math B test (e.g.,
determining when a relation is a function) or not covered in the core
curriculum at all (e.g., understanding the difference between correlation and
causation) will now be part of the algebra course. Likewise some of the
integrated geometry content previously contained in the coursework leading to
the Math A test, (e.g., calculating the area of a sector of a circle)
will now be covered in the middle grades. Additional information on these
content shifts can be found in the Mathematics Toolkit at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/38/guidance.htm
For that reason, and the fact that we will continue to require three
units of credit
of high school mathematics, we believe that
the continuation of the oneRegents examination requirement in no way signals a
decrease in the mathematics content and skills needed for a Regents diploma.
(3) The Mathematics
Standards Committee recommends that the mathematics graduation requirement for a
Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation be that students take and pass the
three courses of high school mathematics, and:
·
that the first
two cohorts pass two of the three Regents examinations in mathematics;
and
·
that subsequent
cohorts pass all three Regents examinations in
mathematics.
We recommend that
the Board approve staff’s recommendation that the mathematics graduation
requirement for a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation be that students
take and pass the three courses of high school mathematics, and that students
also pass the Regents examinations in Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and
Trigonometry. We believe that by
meeting these testing requirements, students will demonstrate a level of
knowledge and skill equivalent to what is currently expected for this
credential.
(4) The Mathematics
Standards Committee recommends that ways of rewarding students for taking and
mastering more than the graduation requirements be explored and
implemented. The Committee members
offer to assist in this effort.
SED
Staff Recommendation
We recommend that
the Board approve staff’s recommendation that students who complete all
coursework and testing requirements for the Regents Diploma with Advanced
Designation in mathematics and/or science and take and pass three Regents
examinations in each academic discipline with a score of 85 or better, earn a
Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation, with an annotation on the diploma
that denotes mastery in mathematics and/or science. In addition, the Office of Elementary,
Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education and the Office of Higher Education
will continue to discuss ways in which advanced high school mathematics
coursework might be recognized by higher education institutions.
New
Mathematics Regents
Implementation / Transition
Timeline

Math
A 
Math
B 
Algebra 
Geometry 
Algebra 2 and
Trigonometry 
200607 
X 
X 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED item writing and
pretesting 


200708 
X 
X 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED field testing and standard
setting 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED item writing and
pretesting 

200809 
X

X 
XFirst admin. in June 2009 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED field testing and standard
setting 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED item writing and
pretesting 
200910 
X Last admin. in January
2010 
X

X

X
First admin. in June
2010 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED field testing and standard
setting 
201011 

X Last admin. in January
2011 
X 
X 
X 
201112 


X 
X 
X 